Smartphone Identity Theft, what you need to know | Cyber Security
The Internet helps us in many aspects of life. Whether it is social networking, information gathering, entertainment or anything else. The internet can quickly do all works.
Smartphones have been quite successful in taking the connectivity to a higher level.
The smartphone is no more than a personal assistant in your pocket. But this convenience can be a source of risk and threat to your sensitive data. Syncing your phone to cloud storage is also much risky.
The criminal activities by mobile and internet are rapidly increasing. Often hackers steal the personal information of people and blackmail them with that data.
In this article, you will know how our personal information is stolen by cybercriminals with the help of our Smartphone. Moreover, you will also learn about some prevention techniques in this regard too.
Some of the topics discussed in this article are:
- Identity theft
- Categories of identity theft
- Identity theft methods by Smartphone
- Prevention techniques
It refers to the deliberate use of someone's identity to gain financial benefits. It can be done to obtain credit in the name of the victim.
Categories of Identity Theft:
Its two categories are:
- True Name Identity Theft:
In true name identity theft, the hacker uses your personal information to open some new accounts.
Some examples of this type include opening a credit card account, opening an account to get the blank checks, new cellular phone service.
- Account Takeover Identity Theft:
In this theft, the hacker uses your personal information to gain access to an established account.
For example, the hacker can change your email address.
Identity Theft by Smartphone:
People nowadays rely on cloud storage. Many transactions are done by Smartphone. To make the purchases online, our personal information is stored on our mobile. This virtual wallet contains our sensitive data.
No doubt connectivity has made our lives easier. But it has brought some significant threats to our sensitive data too.
Following are some of the technique which cyber criminals use to get your personal information from your Smartphone.
It was quite common on PC for a long time, and now it is affecting the mobile user too.
In ransomware, the cybercriminals hack your mobile data. They can also use your phone even without your knowledge.
To get your data back, they often ask to pay some ransom. If you don't pay them, they will not give you your data back.
Botnets are the network of computers. The criminals control this botnet to spread malicious activities. They also work as a source of spam emails.
These apps are installed no your Smartphone, and they connect some other apps from the app store without your permission. Then they spread malware on your device.
They buy these apps from your money without letting you know about it. This money goes into the pockets of the cybercriminals.
By following some simple steps, you can quickly reduce the risks of the identity theft by your Smartphone.
- Installation of Security Software:
You should protect your Smartphone as you protect your computer, laptop or any another device of the sort. To protect from malicious activities, install the security software that can protect your phone from virus and information loss.
Install the software that includes following things:
- Antispam protection
- Anti-theft protection
- Wireless network protection
- Up to date protection
- Installing Apps from the Reputable App Store:
Malicious apps are one of the leading reasons for spreading malware. You should make sure that you are installing the app from a reputable app store.
Installing third-party apps can bring virus in your Smartphone.
Never delay in applying the system and the app updates. These update most often contain security fixes.
- Turn Off the Antenna:
- Turn off the antenna that is not needed.
- If you don't need GPS, WIFI or Bluetooth then turning them off will keep your device much secure.
It will also help in making you mobile battery last longer. To know more about long lasting battery read here.
- Avoid Storing Personal Information:
Avoid storing any personal information on your Smartphone. If you do so, then make it password protected.
Having encryption protection on your data can save from any information loss on your device.
- Browse and Shop Safely Online:
There are many malicious websites online that can bring the virus into your smartphones. There are almost 43 million suspicious sites online that can pose a threat to your device.
To keep your device safe, make sure you have installed an advisory software that can tell you which sites are harmful and which are safe.
Do check the trademark while shopping online.
The scareware is a software that gives user notifications that their device is infected and they need to install the antivirus to keep it protected.
It makes the user believe that they need to purchase fake software urgently. I this way they get the personal information from people.
To avoid being a victim of this trap, never buy any antivirus software from such false notifications. Always buy it from a reputable vendor.
- Secure Internet Connection:
Avoid connecting your Smartphone to free public WiFi. It is vulnerable to attacks most often. Only connect your Smartphone to a trusted secure wireless network.
- Data Breaches Notification:
- You should take the data breaches notification seriously.
- If your data has been accessed by someone, then take serious action on it.
- You can also save your data by subscribing to credit monitoring service.
- Check Credit Cards Transactions and Balance Regularly:
You should monitor your credit card transactions and its credit on a regular basis.
If you see any suspicious transaction then immediately report it to the credit card issuer.
By using remote device locator, you can locate your phone if it gets stolen. To use this excellent feature, you will need to install apps of this sort.
Some Smartphone already have this feature included.
Well, the mobile wallet is too familiar these days. But before keeping your personal information in your Smartphone, you must think twice about it because identity thefts are on the rise for the last couple of years.
mobile phones can store a significant amount of data.
Because you have the opportunity to save it, does not mean that you should keep all your digital life data on your Smartphone.
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